Stories categorized “Drugs”:

Prohibition – a most destructive habit

Published December 2006.

Guardian blog, December 2006
Everybody knows, of course, why those women sell themselves out on the streets of Ipswich – because they are heroin addicts. As the front page of the Guardian put it yesterday: “Pock-marked and painfully thin, they all bore the obvious signs of heroin and crack addiction … selling their bodies to feed [...]

The voices of heroin users

Published October 2004.

Partially published in The Guardian, October 2004
In a case that may prove to be a turning point in the treatment of Britain’s blackmarket drug addicts, the General Medical Council is due today to resume its hearing into charges of serious professional misconduct against every prescribing doctor at one of the country’s leading private drugs clinics.
The [...]

The achievements of justice

Published April 2004.

There is order in the court. There is chaos on the streets. And they meet in the main hall of Thames magistrates court in the East End of London. It is busting with people – this guy made of muscle yelling at his tiny female lawyer “This is MY case, this is MY life”; the elegant Somali man with the beautiful black suit cruising quite lost through the crowd without a word of English to find his way; the young Bengali lad who just blew a spliff in the toilets; the prosecutor reading “God Knows” by Joseph Heller; the little knot of regular defence lawyers, Charlie and Teresa and Denis and Keith, swapping the gossip and wondering how long it will be before somebody tells them the new security code for the door to their room so they can finally start work for the day.

Threat to doctors helping heroin users

Published February 2004.

The Guardian, February 2004
More than 200 heroin addicts are facing disaster after officials at the Home Office made formal complaints against doctors at a leading private drugs clinics.
Seven doctors who have worked for the Stapleford Centre in London are due to appear before the General Medical Council next week after a sustained campaign by Home [...]

Mismanaging the war against drugs

Published May 2003.

Richard Elliott couldn’t stand it any more. For nearly two years, he had been acting as the government’s drugs envoy in Bristol, running the city’s Drugs Action Team, handling millions of pounds a year, linking together police and health workers and social workers and voluntary agencies into one big drive against drugs, but earlier this year he realised he just couldn’t stand it any more, so he quit.

The problem with prohibition

Published May 2003.

What would you do if you house was on fire and the fire brigade turned up and started drenching it with petrol?

What’s wrong with the war against drugs

Published February 2001. One comment... »

On April 3 1924, a group of American congressmen held an official hearing to consider the future of heroin. They took sworn evidence from experts, including the US Surgeon General, Rupert Blue, who appeared in person to tell their committee that heroin was poisonous and caused insanity and that it was particularly likely to kill since its toxic dose was only slightly greater than its therapeutic dose.

The politics of the drug war

Published February 2001.

It is a strange but revealing fact that hundreds of thousands of people in this country are currently afflicted by a dangerous and highly infectious disease and that, even though the government has been warned repeatedly that many thousands of these people will die, the current position of the Department of Health is that they are reviewing the report of an advisory group to decide whether they might then set up a special working group which might then develop a strategy to deal with it.

System failure – the story of one headteacher’s nightmare

Published July 2000.

It is no longer shocking to hear of secondary school students becoming involved with drugs. It would be shocking but not unprecedented to find primary school students doing the same. However, this is the story of a primary school headteacher who was sacked last month for stealing from her school after becoming embroiled in paying off drug debts to a gang of armed crack dealers.

Dave Francis is convicted

Published February 2000.

One of the biggest anti-drug agencies in the country was left reeling last night after a former manager admitted being in possession of half a kilo of heroin with intent to supply and was jailed for seven years.

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